Witness Systems Opens Contact Center Labs

New facility can benchmark and simulate up to 1,000 seats for load-testing of the company’s software in a variety of different environments.

by Keith Dawson

Witness Systems has opened a state-of-the-art Engineering Test/Scalability and Usability Laboratory - a 4,500-square foot facility that's going to be a testing environment for their biggest customers to perform comprehensive scenario testing that would be too intrusive to conduct in actual customer call centers.

The Labs offer an advanced load-testing environment for the company's recently introduced Web-based enterprise collaboration (EC) architecture, which includes 100% recording and multi-dimensional analysis of customer interactions.

Equipped with a 3,000-trunk telephone switch, the facility can simulate the environment of a contact center with up to 1,000 customer sales/service rep seats and record as many interactions simultaneously. Scalability and expansion of the switch will enable simulation of a greater number of seats and simultaneous recording in the future.

By simulating "real world" customer environments, the company can "stress test" its eQuality software, generating loads in excess of customer requirements to ensure scalability and validate functionality.

Such high levels of quality assurance testing is allowing Witness Systems to more easily identify and recommend optimal hardware configurations and network requirements, such as processor speed, storage and network bandwidth.

Another significant benefit the Engineering Test/Scalability Lab brings in-house is the ability to test eQuality in both E-1 and T-1 environments, ensuring these interfaces can be fully tested on location to meet its customers' global requirements.

"The addition of our state-of-the-art Engineering Test/Scalability Facility, coupled with the major expansion of our Usability Lab, is a substantial technology investment in the scalability of our software solutions," said John May, SVP of engineering for Witness.

"Our customers are already benefiting from these facilities, and we look forward to leveraging them to ensure we're delivering the most fully-tested customer interaction recording solutions for today's multimedia contact centers," he said.

By capturing the complete end user experience at the desktop, in conjunction with recorded verbal feedback and body language, Witness can gain valuable insight into how customers operate and react to the eQuality solutions. With this level of input, the company also can incorporate recommendations regarding functionality and enhancements to the graphical user interface (GUI) into future generations of its products.

"Gathering feedback on the effectiveness and ease-of-use of our software directly from our customers provides valuable insight into the future development of our solutions," said May.

"The ability to attain direct user input, develop rapid prototypes, perform additional usability tests, and then roll the requirements into the early development cycle enables us to produce reliable solutions and functionality our customers are seeking, while at the same time minimizing costs."

In addition to hosting customers, Witness' Usability/Testing Laboratory is used for training its employees responsible for eQuality installations at customer sites. At the facility, installers are viewed and critiqued in an effort to develop best practices for fluid on-site implementation.

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